News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 27, 2014

Vigo School Board OKs 2.2-percent staff raises

Tanoos declines increase from current salary

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County School Board on Monday approved a  2.2-percent pay increase for several employee groups, including administrators.

Superintendent Dan Tanoos, who would have been eligible for the 2.2-percent pay increase, chose not to take it, Mick Newport, director of human resources, said before the meeting.

Tanoos’ salary is $135,338.

“When we were doing the evaluation process, he said he preferred not to receive an increase — that he was satisfied with what he is making,” board president Paul Lockhart said after the meeting. “He made that decision. We rate him very high, obviously.”

When asked about declining the pay raise, Tanoos said, “I felt it was the right thing to do.”

The superintendent’s pay was not discussed during the meeting.

Employees approved for the pay raise are administrators, administrative clerical, deputy superintendent, education assistants, executive secretary, food service, managerial, miscellaneous classified, school protection officers, technical service and transportation.

In addition to the pay raise, effective with this year’s health insurance premium renewal, the school district will assume up to 1 percent of any premium increase.

Teachers received the 2.- percent pay increase and insurance benefit as part of a contract agreement reached in August.

n In a separate matter, the board heard on first reading a proposed policy revision that prohibits use of electronic cigarettes on school grounds and in school facilities and vehicles.

The proposal would be added to a policy that already prohibits smoking and other tobacco use. The policy revision will come back to the board Feb. 10.

“We’re finding that electronic cigarettes are starting to make an appearance on school grounds,” said Ray Azar, director of student services. “It is not something that happens frequently, but it has happened among parents and visitors from time to time.”

Also, Azar said, “We’re starting to see a few cases of students,” who believe it’s OK to bring the devices on school property.

The policy would prohibit school employees and visitors from using electronic cigarettes on school grounds; students would be prohibited from using and possessing them.

Currently, the district asks visitors/employees not to use them, and it has used other policies to stop students from using them.

“I’ve been advised if we want to enforce this, it’s better to clarify our policy,” Azar said.

In May 2006, the school board did approve a policy banning tobacco use on school grounds.

E-cigarettes are battery operated products that heat liquid nicotine, derived from tobacco plants, into a vapor that is inhaled by the user.

Eighteen-year-olds can legally purchase the e-cigarettes, Azar said.

Board member Tammy Pearson said most, but not all, e-cigarettes have nicotine, although dosages may vary. The e-cigarettes do not have tobacco or tar, she said.

n During a public comment period of the meeting, Dwayne Malone asked the board to establish a subcommittee to host three meetings, where they could hear concerns from the community about “inequalities” experienced by minorities related to academics, athletics and other issues.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or

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